It is understandable that such belief is a follow- wrought effect of an agricultural society where the amount of hard labor invested in the fields will yield its corresponding bounty during harvest time. The institution of national examinations, to identify and reward talents, has transfixed the scope of knowledge and skills to be learnt and tested thus developing the idea of a curriculum. However education, in today’s context, no longer holds the sole purpose of fitting people into the spectrum of jobs well-established in the society through the ages.
It was found that for the school year 2005-2006 in the Netherlands, 19% of the students in secondary school education left school without a diploma and that similar statistics are also reported for other European countries and the USA (Janssen & Blond, 2005; Wherever, 2008). One of the reasons cited for this ‘failure in meeting the perceived education needs of the pupils sufficiently’ is that a new generation of students being educated with the old paradigms and methods (Presses, 2001 ; Beck & wade, 2006; Clocker, 2008).
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Taking the cue from developed societies and economies, it is believed that education needs to be more authentic and prepares the learners for this age and the coming of mimes as it (authentic learning) focuses on ‘real-world, complex problems and their solutions using role-playing exercises, problem-based activities, case studies and participation in virtual communities of practice’ (Lombardi, 2007). It is also believed that the most effective learning occurs when learners transport what they have learnt to various and diverse new situations (Branford el. T 2004) and this transfer can be best achieved in a learning environment that encompasses learning tools that anchor instruction, feedback, behaviorism, constructivism, 2 reiterative psychology, a host of other cognitive psychology with educational theories and principles (Van Eek, 2006). One such learning environment, yet to be explored extensively, is the Mobile Learning environment (MEL) and authentic learning through educational games, designed to create a continuous cycle of cognitive disequilibrium and accommodation (Billionaire, Stocky, & Amended, 1995), allows players to achieve success in a entertaining manner.
How People Learn In a report of a 2-year study conducted by the Committee on Developments in the Science of Learning, How People Learn, it is mentioned that learning goes not begin from knowing nothing but is a life-long attempt to construct one’s understanding of the world by transforming existing understanding through the continuous process of assimilating and accommodating new information applied in new situations (Branford, Brown & Cocking, 2004). It highlights students’ abilities to transfer what they have learnt to new situations and provides an important index of adaptive, flexible learning.
Expertise can be promoted in learners and that the predominant indicator of expert Status is the amount of time spent learning and working in a subject rear to gain mastery of the content. This transfer of knowledge and skills into the virtual world of gaming which mimics the real world, with the availability of replay function is an avenue for learners to gain mastery in a non- threatening environment. Branford made the proclamation that ‘technology has become an important instrument in education and that computer-based technologies holds great promise both for increasing access to knowledge and as a means of promoting learning.
As computer-based technology, in particularly mobile-based technology, experiencing much industry attention uh to its ability to centralize and organize 3 large volume of knowledge, the linking of learners around the globe into communities of learners and its ability to simulate real-life situations for experiential learning in virtual space, the promise it holds for education through gaming excites both academics and game developers alike. Digital Game-Based Learning provides the avenue of scaffolding and support to augment what learners can do and reason about on the path to understanding and eventual mastery.
The providence of such a feature allows learners to participate in complex cognitive performances such as problem- eased learning or model-based learning that is made possible through technology. Feedback can be made available immediately thus engaging learners in reflection on their own learning process and receiving guidance towards progressive revisions that improve their learning and reasoning in real-time. Play Play is viewed as one of those constructs that is obvious at the tacit level but extremely difficult to be defined in concrete terms.
Nevertheless it is defined as having the following four attributes (Blanchard & Checks, 1 985; Sentimentally, 1990; Pipelining, 1995; Pipelining & Smith, 1993; Hawked & alleging, 1984): a) It is usually voluntary b) It is intrinsically motivating c) It involves some level of active engagement d) It is distinct from other behavior by having a make-believe quality Current theories of play are generally organized around four themes: play as progress, play as power, play as fantasy, and play as self. These themes have been inspired in large part by the work of Brian Sutton-Smith (Pipelining, 1995).
Play as progress involves the belief that the 4 purpose of play is to learn something useful and is a means to improve or enable psychological or social needs which Ribbed (1996) viewed as an important mechanism by which children become adults. Play as power refers to contests or competitions in which winners and losers are determined while Play as fantasy refers to plays role In liberating the mind to engage in creative and imaginative thinking. Play as self is the most recent of themes and it places value on plays role as a way to achieve optimal life experiences.
What is valued is the quality of the experience, the intrinsic worth of an experience. Game play -? embedded into lives of 21 SST century Statistics revealed that nearly 70% of American children play computer games ACH week with an increasing number of teens engaging in mobile games play on their homophones (Facer 2001). A growing number of research has pointed to games being the most frequently used ‘interactive media’ amongst children from ages 6 to 13 (Bounties, 2001, Firebrand & Clingier, 2001).
It is an irrefutable fact that digital games have become an important part of people’s lives today with the prospect of playing an even larger part of their lives as they mature. One begins to wonder the ‘draw’ or attraction these games have on people, especially children. One of the earliest and most cited research arks on this topic is by Thomas Malone who identified three main ways in which games motivate players: fantasy, challenge and curiosity (Malone, 1981).
This is supported by other research findings, Emory et al (1999) which identified curiosity as a common motive to play a game and TEEM data showing that the level of difficulty must be benchmark to the availability of challenge that is achievable yet giving the player a sense of achievement in the process (McFarland et al 2002). 5 A key concept, first discussed by Sentimentally (1 990), is ‘flow. It is defined s “the state in which we are so involved in something that nothing else matters”. It is a measure of how involve a person is, receptive to receiving, comprehending and using educational-based content and skills, while playing.
Thus it is not just factual that games have been deeply embedded into the lives of people but that the motivating factor games has on players can be so captivating that it can involve the entire attention of the player that he/she is oblivious to the physical environment around him/her. Essential features Although there is a general agreement that games can be both engaging and id in the instructional aspect of education, there is little consensus on the essential characteristics that these instructional games need to possess.
Rice et al (1996) proposed that instructional programs that incorporated games features enhanced student motivation which led to greater learners’ attention to content and better retention while Whitehall and McDonald observed that the incorporation of a ‘reward system’ in a simulation game led to increased risk taking from the learners which resulted in greater persistence on the task and improved performance. These seem to testify to how thoughtful election of features for a game yield the corresponding desired outcomes educationalists wish to achieve through the game.
If the desired outcome is a motivated learner who is enthusiastic, focused, interested in acquiring the course content and enjoying the learning process, we will then be looking at learners whose behavior is sulfanilamide, driven by their own volition rather than external factors. There are a number of models of motivation which differs in emphasis and constructs. Some of these models range from the expectancy/valence approaches (Mathieu, Attainment, & Salsas, 1992) to Seller’s 6 1983) Attention, Relevancy, Confidence, and Satisfaction (ARCS) model (Pinprick & Assurance, 1992; Chunk, 1994).
Behavior can be intrinsically or extrinsically motivated and most models’ emphasis is on intrinsic motivation, focusing on the motives to perform a task (Malone, 1981; Malone & Leper, 1987). Malone (1 981 ) proposed that the essential factors that make a task intrinsically motivating are challenge, curiosity and fantasy which concur with what some have mentioned about the essentials of gamely (Blanchard & Checks, 1985; Sentimentally, 1 990; Pipelining, 1995; Pipelining & Smith, 993; Hawked & Pipelining, 1984).
There is a proposed model of learning through the game-based application (instructional program) that Saris (2002) has proposed. The model layout what Saris’ idea of the process a game should have in incorporating games’ features/characteristics with instructional content to produce the desired learning outcomes. The ‘game cycle’, which is the process in this model, is a cycle that includes learner judgments or reactions (such as enjoyment or interest), learners’ behaviors (such as greater persistence or time spent on task) and a system feedback.
This cycle results in recurring and self-motivated game play which leads to achievement of training objectives and desired learning outcomes. The diagram below shows the process. 7 Saris viewed this game cycle as a defining characteristic of computer game play for the effective transfer of instructional content to learner that educationalists hope to capture and incorporate in their instructional applications. Saris felt that motivation is the essential characteristic of a game play that engages learners while Thornton and Cleveland (1990) felt that interactivity is the essential aspect of a game.
Felix and Johnson (1993), on the other hand, felt that the structural component of a game such as dynamic visuals, interaction rules and a goal are the essential features. Girdler (1996) added that a complex task, learner’s role, multiple paths to the goal and learner control to the list and Thomas and Macromedia (1994) highlighted the fact the feature of ‘actions having no real-world consequences’ as a essential feature for learners to take risk in their exploration of finding a solution to accomplish their tasks.
Learning outcomes Most would agree that learning is a multidimensional construct and that here is agreement that there is a considerable commonality in classifying the types of learning outcomes. From the work of Eagan (1984), Anderson (1982), Krieger, Ford and Salsas (1993), several broad categories of learning outcomes are presented: skill-based, cognitive and affective outcomes.
Skill-based learning outcomes refer to the technical and motor skills, Cognitive learning outcomes include the three subcategories of declarative knowledge, procedural knowledge and strategic knowledge and Affective learning outcomes broadly refers to attitudes. Game-based instructional programs hat utilize drill and practice of technical skills are most useful in producing skill-based learning outcomes as evidenced in the military training in a flight 8 school where 10 hours of aviation computer game training produced significantly better performance from trainees as compared to those who received standard training.
Focused-based games that require the learner to reproduce or recognize items of information are best suited for declarative knowledge recall while variable payoff games that ‘reward’ learners based on their trouble-shooting tasks are most effective for procedural knowledge acquisition. Wood and Steward (1987) found that the use of a game that improves practical reasoning skills led to improved critical thinking and this is necessary for strategic knowledge acquisition. Games that influence attitudes such as some social online games will be most effective for affective training.
However most popular social online games are also ‘dangerous grounds’ for young learners to explore and learn as ‘teachers’ on these sites may be proponents of negative values and dangerous behaviors. A twenty-first century skills movement in USA led primarily by Partnership for he 21 SST Century Skills (2007) has produced a framework and position papers defining and promoting reform that moves education towards equipping students on the “twenty-first century skills”. The table below list the twenty- first century skills identified with their respective key themes from the various groups. The reports also identify the educational Outcomes tagged to these 21 SST century skills as follows: Communication – Constructing logical arguments, reasoning from diverse evidence and sensitivity to audiences using CIT tools as effective means of communication. Creativity – generating new knowledge lotions that yield bottom line results and help solve. Problems with organizations of all kinds. Collaboration – Network and network-based tools for cooperative work. Critical Thinking – Critically evaluate knowledge and knowledge claims.
CIT literacy -? new literates in the ever evolving digital age. Life skills – skills such as ethics, leadership, accountability and self-direction. How well an instructional design transfers these learning outcomes via a computer-based game to the learner remains to be researched adequately. Mobile Learning Environment Learners of the 21st century have differed greatly from those a decade earlier ND would be deemed as a rowdy, uncontrollable batch of kids who are impossible to manage in a classroom setting by adults who are unfamiliar with their mode of receiving and processing information.
They belong to a generation that has been shaped by the performances of this modern age and some of whom will shape the education landscape for the next two decades. One of such technology made available to them are mobile devices that have been facilitated by wireless and G connection technology which make mobile learning (m-learning) possible. It was cited that in a California State
University, a satellite dish connects field archaeologists using mobile devices to the classrooms that enable undergraduates, on field trips, to use their notebooks, equipped with global positioning and geographic information systems software to collaborate with those at the 1 0 university on their projects (Holland, 2010). New m-learning resources are developed at a staggering pace with the infusion of pedagogical theories as such the instance for an Eastern Washington University where assessment, quizzes and surveys are conducted using software for blended delivery, a combination of offline, online and mobile devices.
The pew survey revealed that 80% of American students reported that Internet use has a positive effect on their academic experience and that high school students are less likely to be satisfied with the conventional approaches to teaching and learning; they prefer the active use of the Internet during the course and their assignments (Levin and Arafat, 2002). Augural and Day have found that enhanced learning may be attributed to improved microinstructions communications, achieved through the use of web-based social applications (Augural and Day, 1998).
Loudmouthed (1998) reported that 65% of students in introductory economics rouser felt that the Internet has helped them understood the concepts required by the course, 86% felt that the information made available on the Web has increased their learning and 66% reported increased motivation due to the empowerment by the Internet. The information and applications available on the Web has a positive effect on learners by empowering their learning process and thus causing them more inclined to learn more.
The emergence of mobile technology, especially the smoothness and tablets, epitomizes a significant technological shift as Sits rapidly converge into highly bile and individualized artifacts. The marrying of mobile telephony and internet technology has created powerful multimedia platforms that learners are able to experience constant and independent access and has presented to the world a new breed of CIT-offering on an ‘anytime, anywhere’ basis. Studies have been conducted to review the relevance of m-learning to the process of learning through the lens Of a behaviorism and a constructivist.
In the behaviorism paradigm, learning is 11 believed to be facilitated through the reinforcement of an association between a stimulus and a response. Thus, in the case of m-learning, the applications developed for learning is the presentation of a stimulus and the contribution by the learner, through the responses made in the applications, is the response. Feedback from the applications then provides the reinforcement. Through the activities, made available through the applications developed, learning is promoted as learners go through a change in observable actions/ response through feedback.
In the constructivist approach, learning is an active process in which learners construct new ideas and concept (knowledge) based on both current and past knowledge. With mobile devices embedding information and ideas onto the various media accessible, through various platforms, they are embracing a wide community of co-creators of knowledge sharing, commenting and collaborating. This has served as compelling evidence of the implementation of constructivist principles with mobile technologies as a learning experience termed as ‘participatory simulations’ where learners act out key parts in an immerse recreation of a dynamic system.
Moreover mobile devices have proven to be well suited to host context-specific applications due to its availability at anyplace, anytime. Thus learner can use the tools and data made available in the mobile devices for authentic learning. Research on informal and lifelong learning has recognized that learning happens all the time and is influenced both by our environment and specific situations the learner experiences.
Informal learning may be intentional, for example, through intensive, significant and deliberate learning ‘projects’ (Tough 1 971 or it may be accidental, by acquiring information through casual processes such as conversations, observing the world or even experiencing an embarrassing situation. Such a broad view of learning would sakes the process of learning outside the 12 classroom and, by default, embeds it (learning) in the routine of life, thus emphasizing the value of mobile technologies in supporting it.
Some social constructivist will regard learning as encapsulation, a process by which learners become collaborative meaning makers among a group defined by common practices, language, use of tools, values, beliefs (Janssen & Land, 2000). They firmly believe that it is a particularly effective way for knowledge-building communities to form and grow through collaborative activities that involve the design and construction of meaningful artifacts and he exchange of relevant information.
Mobile technologies are thus a platform by which such collaborative knowledge building activities can be hosted for learners to use. Mobile Games for education Researchers and educators are particularly looking at how mobile games can be designed and used to support intellectual activities and at how to incorporate some of these new literates into education (Rogers & Price, 2006) as well as producing the learning outcomes that equip the learners for the 21st century.
One of such games is the Environmental Detectives, a mobile game that uses arsenal digital assistants (Pads) in a real-world environment sceneries that immerse players in the practices of environmental engineers. This gives the learners a ‘Clitoral practicum” experience that is similar to what an environmental research team will encounter. Learners play the role Of environmental scientists investigating a rash of health concerns on site linked to the release of toxic waste in the water supply.
The objective of the game is to plan an effective investigation that balanced quantitative and qualitative data (Clocker et al. , 2002). 13 Another such games is called Capture the Flag. This game provides the opportunities for collaboration between field and stationary players in mixed reality environment by combining mobile game play with PC-based visualization and mobile electronic flags that are displayed and tracked with the players. This game raises the possibilities of mixing the virtual and physical worlds for active game play (Check et al. , 2006).
Frequency 1 550 is a game about medieval Amsterdam that is played during a single school day where groups of students compete with one another by acting as pilgrims in old Amsterdam in search of a holy relic. The players were randomly assigned an identity (e. G. Egger, merchant .. Etc) who will have different rights and status in the game. They then explore the streets of the city, communicate via videophones, use GAPS equipped mobile phones for position tracking while learning the history of the places they visit. Their team members at the headquarters receive information from the team outdoors and direct them accordingly.
At the end of the day, all players gather at a centralized place and each of the groups is invited to present some of their collected media to the other groups. A member of the organizing committee will be present to facilitate the sharing process and ask questions. Finally every group is told the number of points they have obtained and the group with the highest score is announced. It is a mobile game that follows a standard design approach for development where the educational and technology was developed and then tested with a local school.
Frequency 1550 has been tested with 250 students in a more controlled experiment where the students were divided into groups to explore how collaboration and narrative influenced learning in this mobile game (Reassess, 2007). It was reported that 24% of the participants of Frequency 1 550 showed a better knowledge of medieval Amsterdam than those who did the regular project- based lesson series though only marginal difference for ‘motivation for history subject’ and ‘motivation for topic on Middle Ages’.
It 14 would seem that for this study, the game has not improve the motivation for the subject and age significantly but has improve the participants’ cognitive ability quite significantly. Skating is a game that explores the skills of map reading, learning about local history and taps on the different degrees of collaboration between team members to solve the mystery. It has a narrative, IA video, that tells the players to help a ghost solve a mystery about her lost husband who had built a castle on campus.
The ‘playground’ encompasses six locations and a finishing point at a original farmstead. A mobile game application have been developed to provide an interactive map with the different locations marked in a way that the players can zoom and pan to see the entire playing area. Figure 1 illustrates the full map of the playing field with detours. Players use a mobile phone to communicate with the game server to obtain the information and logic for the game. The players will need o find the markers and receive text and audio-based clues via mobile phones by navigating with the mobile-based map.
Figure 2 illustrates the different game modes on the mobile phone, with (a) in map mode, (b) audio clue from the ghost, and (c) a question screen. When the players reach the location they need to collaboratively solve puzzles, decode numbers, and find orienteering flags and other landmarks. From an educational game point of view, the design ideas that guide our work are inspired by “epistemic games” (Collins & Ferguson, 1 993) and expanded by recent efforts explored by Shaffer (Shaffer, 2007).
In this case, the game seek to encourage children to think like historians and be investigators of the paranormal as they come to know about the history of the castle on campus and the geography surround it 15 16 In using the co-design approach together with mobile games for exploring new learning practices has shown the potential in dealing with the challenges of creating authentic and engaging activities that involve physical movement and gaming. This approach has provided an authentic grounded experience than conventional learning activities usually used in the classroom that involve materials such as the textbooks or demonstrations.